AP NEWS

LP schools boost social media presence

April 15, 2019

La PORTE — La Porte Community Schools have been stepping up their social media game by implementing student and staff participation.

By utilizing teacher Erin Parker’s Public Relations class, the school’s web presence has reached a new level of visibility with the La Porte Community.

Parker, along with her PR students, presented details on the program and its positive effects on the school corporation during the LPCSC School Board meeting on April 8.

Parker presented data reflecting the corporation’s social media growth since the group took over the pages in 2015. Reach refers to the total number of people who see the content being posted. The data showed that the corporation’s reach had improved by 263,649 since 2015.

In fact, the school’s social media reach was over 3 million in the month of March alone. LPCSC has increased by about 2,500 followers over the past the year.

“I’m really proud of these students — I could just burst I’m so proud!” Parker exclaimed.

These numbers are a total of all of the corporation’s combined social media pages. The schools have a combined 12 Facebook pages, which include one page for each school. The class’s goal is to have each page reach at least 180 posts by the end of the school year. Some schools have far surpassed this goal already, posting more than 220 in this school year.

LPCSC has two different Twitter accounts, one for the high school and another for the corporation as a whole. Parker also runs two additional Twitter pages devoted to the high school’s newspaper and yearbook.

The schools have their own Youtube channel called “Slicer News” that has almost 500 videos. All of the content has been produced by LPCSC students.

“The creativity that these kids show every day just blows me away,” Parker said.

All of the pages are predominantly run by Parker and her PR students, but also are given help by principals, teachers and other staff members who will post during the day when students are busy learning.

“Like if Kessling has to cancel a football game, there will be a staff member who gets on [Facebook and Twitter] right away to post about it,” Parker said.

Students in their senior year of high school can only take the class after their application has been approved by Parker.

“I have to look at a lot of [factors] because these students are traveling around the community,” she said. “They are representatives and ambassadors for our school, so I want to make sure that we have the right kids out doing this work.”

These students visit the corporation’s elementary and middle schools during class time in order to gather ideas for social media content. This provides them not only with skills in public relations, but journalism, as well. The students use these skills to strategically create content to bolster slicer support and La Porte community participation.

Parker spoke to her students’ efforts to improve the schools’ online presence.

“The amount of work that the students are doing, and the quality of work that they are doing is absolutely stellar,” Parker said.